A Discourse on Inequality - Chapter 7, A Discourse on Political Economy Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 7, A Discourse on Political Economy Summary and Analysis

Rousseau focuses in this discourse on the economy of the polity. Rousseau begins with a discussion of the disanalogy between the family and national economy. In the State, most members are naturally equal in terms of ability and political authority is founded only on convention through the use of law. The family and the state have other important differences as well, such as that the father ought to command in the family but government must be singular.

The chief in the state should have no natural interest in the happiness of individuals; in fact, he usually seeks their misery. The public and private economies must be distinguished in various ways. The public economy is government and its authority is sovereignty. The body politic can be understood as an organized, living body...

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